Deputy Sheriff William "Will" Griffith

Deputy Sheriff William "Will" Griffith

Marion County Sheriff's Department, Texas

End of Watch Wednesday, July 6, 1904

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William "Will" Griffith

A.L. (Ab) Allen had a record of arrests for drunkenness, gambling, horse racing and fighting. On April 15, 1884, Allen was armed with a pistol and drinking when an argument ensued, and Allen shot and killed Robert Pastian. Allen was convicted and sentenced to the state penitentiary for 60 years. About 1900 Allen was pardoned and returned to Marion County. Allen was again arrested for being drunk and fighting. On one occasion he was armed and threatened the sheriff and a deputy who tried to arrest him. On another occasion, he allegedly disarmed Deputy Sheriff Will Griffith and struck him on the head with a pistol. Bystanders intervened to prevent further violence.

On July 6, 1904, Ab Allen and Deputy Will Griffith met in front of the Star Saloon on Austin Street in Jefferson. A few words passed between them when Allen shot Deputy Griffith with a shot gun, which he had borrowed for the purpose of shooting his son, Ernest Allen, or Deputy Griffith. He allegedly met Deputy Griffith first, so the shooting commenced. Deputy Griffith pulled his pistol and fired several shots, striking Allen in the groin. Allen went into the saloon and fell to the floor and died minutes later. Deputy Griffith was shot in the bowels, and was taken to Dr. Armstrong’s office where he died at 7:30 p.m.

William “Will” Griffith was buried in Section L of the Oakwood Cemetery, Jefferson, Marion County. No marker located. He was survived by his wife and at least one son.


  • Age 30
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun; 12 gauge
  • Offender Killed

Most Recent Reflection

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Even back then it appears as if clueless, crooked and biased politicians existed whose decisions resulted in further mayhem and death, this time unfortunately resulting in the death of one of our own. Deputy Griffith please know that no passage of time will ever erase your memory, service and sacrifice. Rest in peace always.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

July 6, 2020

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